Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The drive to bring an NHL franchise to Las Vegas is entering a second phase with the league's blessing, prospective owner Bill Foley said Monday.
Although Foley would not discuss numbers with ESPN.com, several sources said the trial season ticket drive that had been green-lighted by the NHL late last year and began in early February had exceeded its original target of 10,000.
"We've done really, really well," Foley said.
Down payments on those tickets reflect grassroots buyers, individuals and small businesses throughout the Las Vegas area. Now, Foley is reaching out to larger corporations in Las Vegas, including major casino operations. Large banking institutions, telecommunications companies, food services operations and logistics enterprises like UPS or Federal Express also are in Foley's sights.
The group will continue to take down payments on season tickets from individuals even as they move into discussions with these larger entities, many of whom have already reached out to Foley and his group, he said. It's possible that along with the sale of suites, which are at about 750 seats, the ownership group that includes Foley and the Maloof family, former owners of the Palms casino and resort in Las Vegas and the NBA's Sacramento Kings, could top the 13,000 mark for season ticket deposits.
from Shawn Roarke of NHL.com,
For years, Rob Suggitt dreamed about visiting every rink in the NHL.
Finally, he acted this year and finds himself in the midst of a whirlwind, month-long tour of hockey across North America.
Suggitt, a self-professed hockey fanatic from Edmonton, is on a quest to visit 30 different NHL rinks in 30 consecutive nights. It is part bucket-list adventure and part charity fundraiser. It has also been an unforgettable experience.
"For me, it's going to be the memories of this trip," Suggitt said as he sat at the Prudential Center before a game Sunday night between the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim Ducks. "Right now, they are just incredible. As I finish it, I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life."
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
We’re coming down to it in the West, with the Los Angeles Kings and three Western Canadian teams vying for a total of three playoff spots between the four clubs. (The Sportsnet election desk has awarded the first wildcard spot to Minnesota).
Heading into tonight’s action, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Los Angeles are grouped within three points of each other. Calgary has the easiest remaining strength of schedule by a few percentage points, but the Flames also have the heaviest road schedule, playing four of their last six games away from the Saddledome.
Vancouver has a two-point cushion and a game in hand on Calgary, while the Jets are going to feel either very nervous or super confident on Wednesday morning, after their home game against the New York Rangers Tuesday night.
from Michael Felger of CSNNE,
Fighting is down across the NHL, and the B's have been all too willing to go with the flow. I don't think that's a good thing.
According to the folks at hockeyfights.com, the Bruins rank 14th in the NHL with 26 fights. And for those of us who have watched most of them, calling some of these altercations actual "fights" is being kind. It's safe to say the B's are at a soft 26.
Anyway, that's way down from last year, when the B's had 46 fighting majors. And that's down from the year before, when the B's had 32 fights over 48 games (a pace of 55 over an 82-game schedule). And that was down from the 61 they put up in 2011-12.
I'm not good at numbers, but I'm sensing a trend. It's gotten so bad that Montreal fights more than the Bruins.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
The Lightning blueline was delivered another big blow Monday as veteran defenseman Jason Garrison will be out 3-4 weeks with an upper-body injury, coach Jon Cooper said this morning.
Garrison, who suffered the injury early in Saturday's game, had gone back to Tampa to get re-evaluated Sunday. That means Garrison could miss the first round of the playoffs.
But that's not all.
Cooper said All-Star center Tyler Johnson is out tonight - and is day-to-day - with an upper body injury, defenseman Andrej Sustr is out 1-2 weeks with an upper body injury. The most amazing thing is that center Cedric Paquette, who looked to suffer a serious left leg injury Saturday, skated in today's practice and is a game-time decision.
Every team deals with injuries, but this is just awful timing for Tampa Bay, which enters tonight's showdown in Montreal just three points behind the Canadiens for the Atlantic Division lead.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
What to watch for
Detroit's net presence: The Detroit Red Wings’ crease is becoming more and more intriguing with both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek struggling through some rough outings of late. Coach Mike Babcock handed the keys to Mrazek over the weekend after Howard gave up three goals on 10 shots to San Jose on Thursday, but Mrazek was yanked during a shaky performance Sunday in which he surrendered four goals on 11 shots to the New York Islanders. Who will it be between the pipes for the Wings when the playoffs begin? Stay tuned.
Red rising: With a game in hand on the Islanders and the Penguins hobbled heading into this week’s action, can the Washington Capitals make a push for one of the top three spots in the Metropolitan Division? Doing so could be a major factor in being able to avoid a tougher first-round matchup.
Panthers-Bruins: The Cats and B's will square off twice before the end of the season in games with major playoff implications for both teams. One of those matches is slated for Tuesday, when the Panthers travel to Boston looking to make up some ground on their wild card foe. Florida trails the Bruins by four points for that last wild card spot, but the Panthers finish up the season with a five-game home-stand. Things could get really interesting.
Also from Strang...
from Jonathan Wllis of Sportsnet,
At the 2012 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, PhD candidate Adam Gold presented a simple solution. Instead of relying on a lottery that actually serves to diminish the value of games late in the season, Gold proposed that draft order should be determined by total points recorded after a club is eliminated from the post-season.
“In a way, the season ends once teams can no longer win a championship, yet fans are still asked to pay a premium to go and see their favourite teams perform,” Gold said. “In an attempt to inspire fans, to maintain interest, passion and optimism in their favourite teams while still giving the worst teams that need the most help the best picks to get the best players, I respectfully propose that draft order should be determined based on how teams perform after becoming mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.”
A bad team would have a longer time period to rack up points, while teams on the playoff bubble might have just one or two games.
via Hometown Hockey,
On October 25, Kris Versteeg scored a goal. It wasn’t a game winner or a highlight reel play or a career milestone… just another NHL goal like dozens scored that night throughout the league. But to Rochelle and Sara Knapp of Missoula, Montana, it wasn’t just another goal: it was the fulfilment of a promise Kris made to them only hours earlier in memory of Rochelle’s late mother, who died of cancer.
NEW YORK (March 30, 2015) – Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson and Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 29.
from Ian Mendes of TSN,
What a difference a week makes.
Last Monday, the Ottawa Senators beat the San Jose Sharks and climbed past the Boston Bruins and into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The confidence was at an all-time high. The city was alive with a buzz that is usually only reserved for the playoffs.
But as we sit here today, the Senators – and their fan base – appear to be an emotionally fragile group. Three consecutive losses will tend to do that.
So what happened to the uber-confident Senators who went on one of the greatest runs in franchise history? There are a few theories floating around as to why Ottawa's playoff bubble has burst. The answer probably lies with a combination of all five of these answers, but here's a look at the top reasons why the Senators have probably lost three games in a row – and their mojo at the same time:
The Senators look like a shell of the team that stormed back with four third-period goals against San Jose last Monday for a convincing 5-2 victory. In the three games since, Ottawa has looked tired, flat and tentative – and that's being as polite as possible.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com